Black Caps Eye Leveling Series as India Look for another Victory

September 29 16:18 2016

kohliNew Delhi, Thursday, September 29 – Cricket is a sport full of uncertainties. Several matches held in the past prove this. Sometimes, a single changes the entire result towards the end and on occasion it could be a wicket. Eyes can’t be closed to the truth that New Zealand fell short of efforts against India in the first Test in Kanpur. Or it can also be said that the Men in Blue performed to best of their abilities in the opening match in opposition to the Kiwis to make their 500th Test end on a memorable note.

Erratic performances of a few New Zealand players couldn’t save the team from falling into the trough at a time when a win was eyed. Now, as the two are getting all set to contest in the second Test, which starts Friday, September 30. The key change what India are to observe is Gautam Gambhir marking a comeback in the team after a couple of years. He will replace Lokesh Rahul as the top-order batsman has injured his right hamstring. The Indian cricket team will once again look forward to winning the another match in a row under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.

It will be interesting to see whether Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Amit Mishra, who were in extra in the previous match, find a place in the top Playing XI this time or not. Chances may be high that a few who performed in 1st Test may sit on bench this time. Murali Vijay, Mohammed Shami, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja did their bit, rising on the occasion and imparting major role in the team’s success. Eyes will be on the performances of Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha and Umesh Yadav too.

More than a few equations will get changed if they inflict a defeat on Kiwis for another time, sealing series 2-0 with one match yet to be played. Kohli’s captaincy imparted terrific role in making each member of playing XI contribute and play as a unit. As far as his efforts are calculated then the Kohli, who is considered run machine, scored just nine runs in first innings and 18 runs in the second innings. Contribution of significant runs from opening pair, middle order batsmen and tail-enders in the team’s total was of huge importance and story is not going to be any different this time. On the same pitch, wickets were lost by the visiting team. Lessons from mistake will play vital role in making them move on the path of learning and trying to lift the pressure up the moment India come up with different strategies.

The upcoming challenge in the ongoing tournament is the best prospect for the Kiwis batsmen to make use of talent. If a match is lost this time, the third Test will be nothing else but a formality. Contesting against India in their homeland is always a different experience for the traveling side as the home team receives magnificent support from the cricket fans. Not everybody is habitual of playing amid loud cheers and in noisy stadiums. This may shatter confidence of the guests in the later stages if performance isn’t up to the par. The time has come for the Kiwis to use experience and play in the conditions they aren’t familiar with. Kane Williamson will certainly hope for doing the best and play in a way that could guide his men do well too. The New Zealand skipper scored a total of 100 runs in the Test match in Kanpur.

Luke Ronchi grabbed eyeballs by performing well under pressure. 80 runs from him in the second innings certainly made India to think for other measures to dismiss him. Had he been able to be on the crease, it would have been difficult for the hosts to taste win easily. Mitchell Santner’s support was excellent too. Nothing much came from Kiwis’ top and lower batting orders that made India’s job a little bit easy. Responsibility on the shoulders of Trent Boult, Mark Craig, Doug Bracewell, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling and Ross Taylor is going to be massive as they would also love going back home with winner’s trophies in different formats.

The total score set by India wasn’t huge but good. In the end, it proved enough to stop their opponents from registering a win, which was necessary to take the lead. Dedicated efforts were poured by Indian bowlers. The track at Green Park supported spin, helping Ashwin and Jadeja to shine. The ball was not coming on the bat on more than a few occasions, making the travelers struggle while batting. When it was a matter of chasing the target, it was expected that New Zealand might make up in the end or try for a draw as most of its players looked capable of staying on the wicket, facing a variety of deliveries with different moods confidently. But only a few cricketers could do the job that was expected. However, it was certainly insufficient to make Kiwis put India in any sort of stress. They would definitely eye a kind of start that hoped earlier. Focus will be on achieving their goal.

Winning the toss is not in the hands of skippers. It is luck. Not every time the team winning it is successful in the end. Many a time, the squad losing it did well too. It is undoubtedly gonna be breathtaking to see which team makes best use of the occasion at Eden Gardens in Kolkata and which not makes the grade to be hit. Terrific efforts by the teammates will be a key thing in the success story in order to be outstanding and motivate others to look forward to do each possible thing to be on the winning side. India attack as a unit and this approach has emerged as their biggest strength. Indian side is filled with lot of confidence and think of building pressure on the rivals soon after the match starts. Not to forget that the platform of Test matches could be a chance to make a memorable comeback.

If Gambhir finds a place in the team, attention will be on marking an appearance that is remembered for several years to come. Not to forget that the players try to put best foot forward and leave no stone unturned to catch the eyes through some incredible blitz. Exposure what players get in Test cricket is also of great help. The fans are curious to see whether it is going to India again to thrash New Zealand’s dream of leveling the series or Kiwis would restrict the rivals from pocketing any win further to turn the final Test at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore decisive. All preparations in Kolkata to host match between India and New Zealand have been done. Teams are all set to face off against each other as winning is important in each game to increase chances claiming the series. The Black Caps are strong in this format but yet got to prove their strength. An interesting contest is on the cards. The match is to start at 9:30 in the morning.